AURORA on LGBTQ rights and mental health: “It’s important to know that you’re loved”

"It's very hard to be a human and I want to empower everyone"

AURORA has spoken of the message of her new album ‘A Different Kind Of Human (Step 2)‘ – and how its driven to give a voice and understanding to the marginalised in society.

Watch our full video interview with AURORA above

The record is the follow-up and companion piece to last year’s mini album ‘Infections Of A Different Kind (Step 1)’, which the Norwegian pop sensation describes as “way more political and way more angry” this time.

“It’s very big and very loud. I want people to feel pumped up by it. I want them to feel ready for battle,” AURORA told NME. “I’m trying to empower everyone. I’ve always been a big supporter of people like me; the outsiders, the underdogs, the introverts. In many societies it’s the women, in some it’s the men, some the children, the animals, gay people. It can change from place to place, who is being suppressed.”

She continued: “It’s very hard to be a human and I want to empower everyone. I want to remind everyone that we have a lot to offer. There’s no use in feeling helpless or feeling small. You can offer the world a lot, and if everyone knew that then the world can be very wonderful.”

AURORA

AURORA

Asked if the album was more of a protest record or a call for empathy, she replied: “Some of the songs are more battle-ready than others. I think in general it’s more about calling for empathy. Humans in our core are supposed to be empathetic and nice. If you just remind people of it then they will remember.”

Has she ever experienced a backlash as a result of her stance for the oppressed?

“Yeah, a bit, but I don’t mind,” said AURORA. “Sometimes you can’t know, but sometimes you know when you’re on the right side of history. You know that we are fighting for something divine. I really believe in love. We need a world where we are allowed to love. Love is the only thing we have that isn’t double sided or impure.

“I would love for love to just spread. It’s very important for me to show my support. In my past, I’ve been a part of the community myself.”

The album was led by the single ‘The River’, which attracted much support online for its message of calling for people to be more open and understanding when it comes to mental health.

“In Norway, I am quite different to the culture and the way that it has been,” she said. “We’re quite uptight. We’re very lovely but we find it hard to express emotions. It doesn’t come naturally for us. It’s interesting to me to see for older generations how tough it must have been to see how people become alcoholics and fall into darker paths – the world doesn’t see them. People don’t like to take the first step. They need someone to let them know that they won’t die if they take the first step. You can talk about your emotions.”

Speaking of the shocking statistics in relation to mental health, she went on: “There’s a reason why 73% of suicides on Earth are men. That’s horrible. When I was reading that I was thinking, ‘Yes, that makes sense’. Men are also a victim of the macho culture in a way that we haven’t focussed on as much as the way that women are.

“It’s a common enemy that we all have because it’s pushing us all way too far. We have to focus more on emotional education. It’s important to know that you are loved.”

AURORA, live in Berlin

As for the future, AURORA said that she was already hard at work on her third full album – but that it won’t take the form of ‘Step Three’ in the series.

“It’s not the end of the steps,” she said. “I can feel it in my heart that my next album, which I’m already making, is not ‘Step Three’ – but it’s not the last step. For the next album before ‘Step Three’, I can’t really speak about it without telling you too much. It’s a different perspective and looking at things from a different angle. This album is all about changing the things that you cannot accept in this world. I’d say that the next one is more about accepting the things that we can’t change.

“I already have the title. It’s hidden somewhere. I think you’ll love it. It makes my life much easier when I’m done with an album and can release another. I’m very thirsty in the way that I make music all the time.”

Will there be a prize for fans who complete the treasure hunt for her new album title?

“The prize is the death penalty,” she added. “Or you may win a sponge or something. It’s like a roulette: ‘Will I die or will I win the sponge?'”

Watch our full video interview above as AURORA also tells us about her meeting with Billie Eilish – and how she terrified The Chemical Brothers when collaborating on ‘No Geography’.

AURORA talks inspiring Billie Eilish and Chemical Brothers and her album 'A Different Kind Of Human'

AURORA

Aurora’s new album ‘A Different Kind Of Human (Step 2)’ is out now. Her UK headline tour dates are below.

Monday November 4 – BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol
Tuesday November 5 – MANCHESTER Albert Hall
Friday November 8 – GLASGOW SWG3
Saturday November 9 – NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Boiler Shop
Sunday November 10 – BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
Monday November 11 – LONDON Roundhouse